How to Train a Dachshund to Go For Walks

Easy
1-4 Weeks
General

Introduction

He’s exactly as you hoped, playful, devoted, lively and clever. Plus he’s a Dachshund, so he’s the cutest little shape. However, there is one thing he’s not so good at: going for walks. He needs to be taken out each day but you almost have to drag him along the ground. 

This might have made you giggle to start with, but now you’re beginning to get a bit worried. If he won’t get any exercise he may start piling on the weight, and that's no good for his little frame. Not to mention, if he doesn’t use his legs enough, then his muscles and joints will grow weak and he may develop expensive health problems later on in life. 

Defining Tasks

Thankfully, training a Dachshund to enjoy walking is fairly straightforward. The first thing you need to do is get him comfortable in a collar and leash. You then need to gradually build up his confidence in the house before venturing out into the world. A key part of the training will also be finding the right motivator. Fortunately, Dachshunds have a weak spot for anything they can eat. So the right mouth-watering food should soon get him bounding around.

If he’s a puppy, then your Dachshund should be highly receptive. This means you could see results quickly. However, if he’s older and this habit has developed over a number of years, then you may need up to a month before you see consistent results. Succeed and you’ll have the ideal canine companion for weekend strolls. You’ll also have a quick and easy way to exercise him each day.

Getting Started

Before you can start training, you will need to gather a few bits. Stock up on tasty treats and have handy a short training leash, a favorite toy, some string, and a clicker if you typically use one to train.

Set aside half an hour each day for training. For the most part, you will be able to conduct training when out on your daily walk.

Once you have all that, just bring patience and some walking shoes, then work can begin!

The Walking Confidence Method

Effective
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Step
1
Secure his leash
The first thing to do is get your Dachshund used to his leash. So fit it to him when you are at home and let him wander around with it on for 10 minutes each day. Remain calm as you fit it, you don’t want to get him too worked up just yet.
Step
2
In-house walks
After a couple of days, you can then start taking him for slow walks around the house on the leash. He needs to get confident inside before he ventures out the front door.
Step
3
Encouragement
To get him walking, talk in a high-pitched and animated voice. Dachshunds mirror their owners behavior, so if he sees you excited, he will soon follow suit. You can also get down low to his level. Just continue to encourage him until he catches on.
Step
4
Yard
Once you can walk him for a few minutes around the house, it’s time to brave the outdoors. Calmly fit the leash and then get him worked up and head for the back door. Walk him a couple of times around the yard each morning and evening.
Step
5
Up the stakes
Once he is confident walking around the yard, it’s time to head out for the real deal. Use exactly the same steps as above to get him excited and then go for a walk around where you live. To start with, only walk him for a short distance, but then gradually increase the length of time you walk for.
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The Treat Lure Method

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Step
1
Getting ready
Calmly fit him to his leash. If he doesn’t want to stay still, hold out a treat to capture his attention. Then once you have fitted the leash you can then hand over the treat as a reward.
Step
2
Head height
Now head out the door as if you were going for a normal walk. However, hold a treat as close to his face as you can. Due to Dachshund’s small stature, you may need to attach a treat to a long bit of string. The treat should keep him walking as he tries to get his mouth around it.
Step
3
10 yards
Once you have both waked 10 yards, give him the treat as a reward (be careful with the string). You can also give him some verbal praise. The happier he feels, the more keen he will be to continue walking again.
Step
4
Increase the distance
Now attach another treat to a piece of string and continue walking. But this time walk 20 yards with him at your side before you hand over the reward. If he loses interest you may want to try using a different lure. Often the smellier the food, the more effective it will be. Cheese usually does the job well.
Step
5
Lose the treats
Continue walking each day like this, increasing the distance as you go. Once he fully gets the hang of it and can walk confidently, you can then slowly phase out the treats. He will be comfortable on his four legs and will no longer need a food incentive.
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The Temptation Method

Effective
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Step
1
Long leash
The first thing to do is fit your Dachshund to a long leash. Dogs often get scared when they have to walk on a short leash. You will also need a friend, a toy and a clicker. Once you have that, head into the yard.
Step
2
Hold him
Have your friend stand a few feet away and hold your pooch by the collar. As he does this, hold your Dachshund's favorite toy in front of him and start talking in an animated voice. You want to get him as worked up as possible.
Step
3
Start running
Once you have his attention, start running in the opposite direction holding his toy as you go. As you do this, have your friend hold him back. The simple fact he can’t get to you will make him want to.
Step
4
Release & reward
After a second or so of holding him, let go so he can run after you. Let him nearly catch up with you and run with you as you hold his leash. If you use a clicker to train, you can then click to let him know he is doing a good job and spend a minute playing with his toy. Practice this several times each day. This will get him comfortable running on the leash and associating it with positive things.
Step
5
The walk
Continue practicing this, but rather than running away, just walk, then let him catch up and continue to walk for a little while before you give him the toy. Continue doing this and he will very soon get into the habit of walking confidently.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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